Solving a Static Electricity Problem when Applying Labels

Gen4 Static Eliminators

A company was applying labels to their plastic containers.  The labels were 4” (10cm) wide by 9” (23cm) long in size with a protective backing.  The backing material had to be removed prior to applying the label to a 9” (23cm) tall container.  With their label applicator, the label would wrap around the container.  They started to see misalignment and wrinkles in the labels when they were applied.  For the nonconforming parts, they had to remove the label and clean the surface to reapply another label.  This was time-consuming and a pain in the neck.  Since winter is here in the Northern Hemisphere, the drier air makes static very easy to create and will cause issues.  They contacted EXAIR to ask about our Gen4 Static Eliminators.

 With non-conductive materials like plastic and paper, static is easily generated; especially during cooler weather.  Static can be in a negative state or a positive state depending on the type of material.  With opposite charges, things are attracted to each other and will “stick” like magnets.  For similar charges, they will repel each other.  The higher the static charge, the stronger the force.  Static is generated from rubbing, hitting, and peeling which can cause electrons to be stripped from a surface.  For the customer above, the peeling away of the backing from the label caused the negative electrons to build on one surface.  And with the containers shifting, bumping and moving along the conveyor; static was also being generated.  Since like charges repel each other, the labels were not able to stay aligned and were creating bubbles on the surface.

When it comes to removing static, EXAIR is a leader in this market.  We have a large product line of different types of Static Eliminators.  Our design generates both positive and negative ions to remove any type of static charge up to 20 feet (6m) away.  In this application, I wanted to target two areas where static is present; the labels and the containers.  Since we could get close proximity to the label and the containers, I recommended using the Gen4 Ionizing Bars.  With a quick static decay rate, we can remove the static right before applying the label.  For this application, I recommended the model 8006 6” Gen4 Ionizing Bar and two model 8009 9” Gen4 Ionizing Bars.

EXAIR’s power supplies are what gives the Gen4 Ionizing Bars energy to create ions.  EXAIR offers two models of Gen4 Power Supplies; model 7960 which can power up to two Static Eliminator products and model 7961,  which can power up to four Static Eliminator products.  Since the Gen4 Ionizing Bars were mounted in the same area, the model 7961 Gen4 Power Supply was used to run three Ion Bars at once.  This helps to save money as they did not need to buy multiple power supplies.

Together, it was very easy to mount and start using.  The model 8006 was mounted right after the backing was removed from the label.  One model 8009 was positioned in the front of the container; and the second model 8009 was positioned in the back of the container.  Now they were able to remove all the static before the label was placed on the container.

EXAIR stocks lengths from 3” (76mm) up to 108” (2743mm), and we can ship a solution the same day.  When you are losing time and working hours due to static buildup like the company above, the Gen4 Static Eliminators can resolve it quickly and easily.

If you are having problems with static in alignment, jamming, contamination, or shocking staff; you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  The Gen4 Static Eliminators can remove the static and keep your process running smoothly.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

When You Can Use An Air Amplifier, or A Line Vac, or…Either?

One of the key applications that we use to promote our Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors is scrap trim removal. In cases where a continuous feed of material needs to be carried away, a properly sized Line Vac is just the thing. They’ll generate a moderate amount of vacuum and conveyance air flow, which can move the material over significant distance, if needed.

I had the pleasure of talking to a long-time customer recently, who has been using EXAIR products to successfully remove the backing strip from a continuous feed of label roll. Instead of the Line Vacs, though, they’ve been using Model 6044 4” Aluminum Adjustable Air Amplifiers. The low density, lightweight film backing doesn’t require much air flow at all to move it, and they only need to carry it away a few feet.

EXAIR's Adjustable Air Amplifier
EXAIR’s Adjustable Air Amplifier: Not always interchangeable with a Line Vac, but…

Recently, though, they introduced a new product with a slightly wider label. The film backing for this has been catching in the 3.02” ID throat of the 4” Air Amplifier, making a BIG mess as it backs up into the machine. They called me for a solution, and I’m glad they did, because (spoiler alert) I had one.

Our Air Amplifiers and Line Vacs both generate a modest vacuum and moderate vacuum flow, but, because they use two different principles of operation to do so, the Air Amplifier makes for a very high vacuum flow, at a lower vacuum level, where the Line Vacs generate a higher vacuum, but a lower vacuum flow.

In some cases, the Air Amplifier is the obvious choice…if you’re moving something that’s already airborne, you don’t need a whole lot of vacuum; you just need the flow to keep it moving. In others, the Line Vac is better suited…like when you’re transferring the bulk contents of a shipping container, where you’ll need a higher vacuum level to pick it up.

In this particular case, either will work…it’s a lightweight material that’s already in motion (no significant amount of vacuum required there), so the throat diameter was the deciding factor: our Model 130400 4” Light Duty Line Vac has a 3.75” throat; which is more than sufficient to prevent jamming. The air consumption on the 130400 (58.5 SCFM @80 psig) is even in the same neighborhood as the 6044 (50 SCFM @80 psig,) so, operationally, it’s almost an even swap as well.

EXAIR's Light Duty Line Vac
EXAIR’s Light Duty Line Vac: Not always interchangeable with an Air Amplifier, but…

If you’d like to find out how EXAIR products can be a viable solution to your problem, give us a call. We’re eager to help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
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